Material to Shape a City
Jürgen Mayer H.
Oscar Riera Ojeda Publishers Llc
Concrete Ideas: Material to Shape a City is about possibilities in concrete architecture. It visually speculates, through a series of montages, drawings, and photographs, about concrete architecture’s capacity as an urban catalyst, its capacity for de fining cites and for virtuosity in urban renewal. It is another iteration of speculations begun in a graduate architecture studio at the University of Toronto, which asked: given the now mainstream nanotechnologies that transform the performance of materials at the molecular level without fundamentally changing the material aesthetic, can we anticipate and provoke a change in its inherent authority, perception, and aesthetic culture?
The work uses the case of Toronto with its predominant 1960s and 1970s brutalist stock and unique minus 30 ºF to plus 30 ºF Canadian climate to test these speculations with building projects that challenge the limits of concrete performance. With contributions from architects and thinkers such as Mark West, George Baird, Will Bruder, and Charles Waldheim among others, Concrete Ideas is meant to create a seductive argument for the reconsideration of this age-old building material as supple, light, and instrumental in the re-presentation of existing concrete “citizens.